Today started off pre-bright and early. In fact, I think I got about two hours of sleep by the time I packed everyone’s stuff, cleaned the house, and got the big surprise ready for the kids. We have been planning on going to Disneyland for Halloween for the last couple of months. It has just been one thing after another this month and I haven’t really had a chance to focus on getting things ready for the trip. We also didn’t want to tell the kids too far in advance because that would be all we’d hear about and the novelty of it might wear off. So, at 4:00 am, we woke up and gathered all the kids to tell them that we were heading to Disneyland in an hour!
That was one of my favorite things as a kid, the impromptu “pack a bag and we’re leaving”! I remember my dad coming home early from work one day and (hamming it up for the effect) telling us that he was bored and wanted to get out-of-town. The next thing I know all us kids are packing one bag and getting ready to drive to Disneyland for the weekend. I’m sure that they had some, if not all, of the trip planned already but I thought it was so spontaneous and fun and never forgot that!
It was a simple way to tell the kids. I printed off their tickets and tied them to a helium balloon. When they opened the bag the helium balloon floated out and they read the ticket saying 2 days in Disneyland! Well, that’s how it was supposed to work at least 🙂 . The bags that I got were too small to hold the balloon so I improvised and taped all four bags together to make one long bag, stuffed all four balloons inside and filled it with tissue paper. It got the job done!
The kids had about 45 minutes to get dressed and completely ready. We were leaving so early because today was one of our park days and we wanted to get there as close to opening time as possible.
I thought they’d never fall back asleep, as wired and excited as they were. Since I only got about two hours of sleep last night I was out almost the minute we got on the freeway and didn’t surface until Barstow, where we stopped for breakfast and gas. Turned out that all the kids had the same idea and took a couple hour nap. It ended up being a good thing for how late we stayed up.
When we got off the freeway in Cali and started down Disney Drive and could see all the characters lining the streets that’s when it hit me how much fun this trip is going to be. I haven’t really allowed myself to enjoy the idea of going to the Happiest Place on Earth just because the last time we went wasn’t all the great. Benjamin was 3, Emma was 2, and Joseph was 9 months old. He was still partly nursing and couldn’t walk and that kid was a bruiser! All that combined with the fact that none of them could ride most of the rides and that they don’t remember much of that trip made for kind of a bust.
As we were sitting around in the lobby of the Hotel California and the kids are playing and interacting with each other while we check-in I realise that we are really going to get the Disneyland experience this time!!! You don’t know how happy that made me!
My dad got discount Disney tickets through work and an amazing discount on a hotel that we would never have dreamed of staying at otherwise. The fact that it backed up right to the park made it so convenient for meal and nap times. They also had amazing amenities. There was what looked like a huge dungeon but was a fire pit area where they had nightly story times, they also had Pinocchio’s Workshop where the kids could go for an hour or two to do crafts and play with the characters. There was something wonderful around every corner. I’m so happy we got to have this experience this year, at this point in our families journey! AMAZINGLY FUN!!!